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Minister: International community should ensure free navigation and trade at sea

An "important task" for the international community "is to maintain order at sea across the world, such as ensuring free navigation and trade", Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in Brussels.
23. January 2024 17:41

The minister added, however, that steps by the international community should not lead to “an escalation of the security threat … or else it could result in a vicious cycle.”

Speaking at a press conference held on the sidelines of a meeting of trade ministers of the EU on Tuesday, Szijjarto said freedom in global trade and “undisturbed procedures” were especially important for Hungary.

“Security threats impact the freedom of trade in the first place, while political-ideological threats could impediment the free flow of investments,” the minister said. The freedom of trade is impacted at the Red Sea, he said, adding that “it demonstrates the vulnerability of global supply chains, which could be compromised by armed conflicts at any part of the world.”

The situation at the Red Sea and the resulting delays in shipments of goods from the East to Europe “demonstrates this interdependence because it impacts the European economy, leading to the temporary closure of businesses while jeopardising jobs,” he said.

Trade cooperation between Europe and Asia, he said, was crucial for Hungary, adding that endeavours to thwart that cooperation were “a lot more dangerous than what is happening at the Red Sea.” “The Red Sea problem will be resolved by those that are strong enough … but there’ll be far-reaching negative consequences if East-West cooperation is undermined through political means,” Szijjarto said.

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